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  1.    #1  
    So it's supposedly going to be shut down in about 26 hours and already 26,485 people have signed a petition to save it. Personally I think Napster is a good thing and shouldn't be shut down. I've only used it for a couple of months now and I actually have bought CD's after listening to MP3's, so it can't be too harmful. If anyone else wants to sign, go here:
  2. JJR
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    I wouldn't hold your breath for Napster to be up and running again anytime soon after it's shut down this Friday.

    Napster is in trouble. They can never shut down the exchange of MP3 files, pirated software, and the likes on the internet. Napster provides the conduit for people to exchange files (which is in itself illegal not merely exchanging files). It would be like me opening up a store to allow people to exchange pirated computer software for profit. People are always going to do it on their own, and yes it is illegal. You just cannot provide that type service to people.

    The internet is amazing. You can find ANY FILE OR SOFTWARE you want for free somewhere. You just have to know where to look. I really don't think Napster will survive, but file trading online always will. We just need to be more creative.
  3. #3  
    Napster is dead.

    The future of MP3 "sampling" is Gnutella. Napster had a main server - so to shut it down, all you'd have to do is stop the main server...

    Gnutella, however, has no main server - everyone's computer is connected to everyone else's.

    I forget the URL...serch for Gnutella on and I'm sure you'll get more information.

    (also - Gnutella allows people to search for pictures, videos, mp3s, and a lot more!)
  4. #4  
    My understanding about Napster is that it too is a network of shared drives/files from all users. I just set it up two days ago (out of curiosity) and part of the setup is defining a folder on my computer to share with the rest of the community. If Napster has a central computer it is probably just serving as an indexing server to facilitate searches.

    I for one am glad to see the uproar that shutting down Napster is causing. While I don't condone the copying of complete CDs and such instead of buying them, it is very important to me to be able to sample the music of an artist or group before I buy. Many times I have bought an album/tape/CD of an artist/group based on the one or two songs I've heard on the radio, only to find that the album as a whole sucks. Another good thing of Napster (and any other service of the same type) is that I can be exposed to music that I normally wouldn't waste my time on. This will lead to more sales of CDs for the RIAA. I also like being able to get old songs that I haven't heard in years
    and for which the CD is not available or such.

    If memory serves me, many years ago the software industry exhibited the same kind of outrage/death knell about the growing use of shareware/freeware. The powers that be said that allowing the shareware/freeware to thrive would put them out of business in short order (5 years comes to mind, but I am not sure). As we can see that hasn't happened. Sure, shareware/freeware have their place and have settled into their own niche. I believe that the same will happen for Napter/Gnutella services.

    Another reason that I believe that the RIAA is so bothered by this is that for as long as they've been around the record companies have controlled the market! ThEY set the prices, THEY decide decide which artists/groups are recorded, THEY decide what we get to listen to (not as personal choice, but by limiting what is available to us). It used to be that the guys who found new talent for a recording label were the producers/engineers/musicians that worked/recorded for the label. These people judged an artist/group by their ability as musicians and their "playability"Now it is done by marketing and sales types. These types judge an artist/group strictly on whether or not they can market them. Period.

    I do believe that Napster will be forced to shutdown permanently, but only because the music gods (RIAA) need a sacrifice to appease them. I also believe that this will open the eyes of many of the consumers out there who don't usually think about the control that a certain few have on a whole industry.

    Well, I could go on with some other ideas, but this post is way to long already. I apologize to anyone who thinks that my ranting went on for too long.

    What the Heck! It's what I want!
  5. #5  
    I have to agree with the closure of Napster. The shareware/freeware example is not a good one. There has always been a clear distinction to what was considered "commercial" software and what was considered shareware/freeware. This was a distribution method. Napster crossed this line. They decided that anything and everything (more or less) could be transfered on their network and therefore violated copyright laws. Period. Many bands have created their own sites on MP3.COM (and similar sites) and have benefited from the exposure of their music. For groups that feel that free distribution of their music is fine, this is an excellent way for them to achive this, while maintaining control of their intellectual rights.

    Like the post above stated, it is true that virtually any piece of software can be found on the internet. However, just because it is there, doesn't mean it is legal/right/etc ...

    Regarding going to a music store and not hearing the stuff before puchasing -- I agree THIS SUCKS. Stores should have listening stations. These COULD be hooked into an MP3 server (fairly cheap) and a barcode scanner. Take the cd you are thinking about to a listening station, scan the bar code, listen to the tracks .. if you like it, then you can buy the CD.. Thats my thoughts anyways.

  6. #6  
    Check out this link for a little education from Courtney Love. Yeah, I know, not exactly who you would want to get an education from , but this article is very informative and VERY articulate.

    What the Heck! It's what I want!
  7. #7  
    OK, so napster's dead. Now what? Well, a few things.

    First of all, I don't exactly know how they plan on shutting down Napster. I'm assuming they're gonna shut down Napster's servers, so you can't connect anymore. I can't say for sure if it'll work, but there's a program called napigator ( that lets you choose other servers to log on to. The benefit of this used to be that you could switch to a number of different "OpenNAP" servers, which are napster servers run by individuals. Usually they had more people logged on to them, and provided better results. After Napster shuts down their main servers, it may still be possible for Napigator to switch to the private servers, which should still be running. Of course, Napster *could* simply tell the Napster program to insert something into the registry or something to make the program stop running, but my guess is they aren't going that far. My guess is that they know about the private servers and *want* them to keep working, but "can't" (and therefore aren't obligated to) shut them down. But I don't know for sure...

    ...So enter gnutella (as mentioned above).
    (this isn't the link, but its a quick tutorial teaching how to use it)

    I'm not exactly sure on the technical specifics, but Gnutella is a system designed to accomplish the same goal as napster (allowing the sharing of files over a large network of users), but without using a server. How? Well the basic idea is that each user who logs on is a node, and is connected to, say, 4 other computers. This way, all the computers are connected somehow, to allow searching. I'm sure thats not exactly how it works, but it should give you a vague idea. It all becomes clearer when you download it.

    Gnutella uses a lot of bandwidth, because it's constantly communicating with the computers "near" it to process searches. But, if Napster really doesn't work after tonight, it may be our solution. And the bonus is it not only supports MP3s, but any kind of file you want. Not that you should attempt to pirate anything with it, of course

    Anyway, have fun.

    [This message has been edited by m1ke08 (edited 07-28-2000).]
  8. #8  

  9.    #9  
    "Appeals court grants Napster reprieve..."


    Go here for full story-

    Well it's still up and running for now...
  10. #10  
    Anyone else notice that CNN's coverage both on television and the Internet is by far one of the most one-sided and biased viewpoint out of the news reports, even among the corporate moguls?
  11.    #11  
    I don't know, it was just the one I came across first. I'm sure you could have gone to any other news site for the same info.
  12. #12  
    While I support the not-for-profit exchange of copyrighted material for consumers, Napster strikes me a disengenuous.

    I believe in the freedom of information, and find it hypocritical for a company exploiting freedom-of-informaton ethics via proprietary software. Napster's end user licensing agreement prohibits the disassebly, decompiling or even the reverse engineering of its product.

    When Napster CEO Hank Barry was confronted about this conflict of values, all he had to say was, "We're not an open source company."

    Open source solutions like Gnutella and Freenet are better for society in the long run: not only do they allow the sharing of all types of files (i.e. not just MP3s) but are technologies that promote freedom by their own example. Napster tries to preserve a monopoly not only on its code but on its database: it blocks itself from bots.

    I should state that I don't believe in intellectual property as a moral concept; it's an expedient. If the concept were axiomatic, we wouldn't have to qualify it with the word "intellectual." I don't believe anyone can morally "own" an idea any more than the air we breathe. The only time a person actually does own an idea exclusively is when it's kept in the originator's head. The moment the idea enters the public consciousness, it can't be eradicated. This is how art, science and culture evolved, before and after the introduction of copyright law.

    Copyright law was designed by the founding fathers to encourage creation and innovation by artificially granting a temporary exclusive right to profit from one's creation. The word "copy" refers to text (as in writing copy), not duplication.

    There are certainly judges, lawyers and legal scholars who disagree with my reading of the law, but they disagree among themselves as well.

    If Napster had sold copyrighted material, they would've definitely been in violation of the law. If the company had run advertisements on its site (which it didn't), I would consider it legally ambiguous (Napster wasn't selling copyrighted material, but profiting indirectly from it). I do believe that what Napster did was "illegal" under the DMCA, but I also believe the DMCA is unconstitutional.

    A couple of days ago I came across a great essay by Danny Yee, Against Intellectual Property, that overlaps with my own views.

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